Calvin Stein of Madoc was harnessing his own horses and waiting for his turn to compete at the Tweed Fair in Ontario when he noticed a commotion brewing not far away.
Another team of horses had broken away from their handler and were heading into the spectators—and directly toward a three-year-old girl standing nearby with her family. The girl was oblivious to the danger, but Stein, who was accustomed to reading the body language of horses, knew he didn’t have long to act.
When panic broke out in the crowd, the little girl’s father grabbed his two nearest children, who were both standing to either side of him. Fortunately, Stein already had the third child in his sights, and when he realized he didn’t have enough time to scoop her up and run, he tossed her (literally) out of harm’s way as the horses thundered into him.
“I guess that’s not what you’re supposed to do—throw kids,” Stein told The National Post. “But I threw her and the team mowed me over.”
Besides a few bumps and bruises, the three-year-old was fine. Stein suffered more serious injuries, including a concussion, stitches to his face, and a broken eye socket. Still, he refuses to call himself a hero, saying that the real heroes are the police, emergency medical services, and the Canadian Forces. He just did what anyone would do, he says, though in the moment, Stein admits he feared the worst.
“I thought, ‘Well, this is the way Calvin’s going to croak.”
Fortunately, Stein is expected to make a full recovery, with the exception of a few new scars. For their part, the little girl’s family are referring to him as their savior.